President Biden weighs in amid migrant influx in New York City

Republican governors now are expanding their campaigns to other parts of the country.

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Friday, September 16, 2022
President speaks out amid asylum seeker influx in NYC
Janice Yu reports on the latest round of buses to arrive at the Port Authority terminal.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- More busloads of asylum seekers were arriving at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan Friday.

So far, more than 11,000 migrants have arrived since May, many of them bused in from Texas.

Republican governors from Texas, Arizona and Florida have been sending migrants to various Democrat strongholds, including to Chicago, Washington D.C., Martha's Vineyard and even to Vice President Kamala Harris' home.

President Joe Biden and other Democrats are now condemning the transports, calling them stunts that turn human beings into political pawns.

The White House says it is still cleaning up after the Trump Administration and that there is still work to be done, and the Biden administration is criticizing the GOP governors for not following processes already in place.

The White House press secretary even seemed to suggest what the Republican governors are doing is illegal, but she stopped short of saying that explicitly and referred reporters to the Department of Justice.

New York City officials, while adamant they will expand resources to accommodate the migrants, have said that the influx has pushed infrastructure to its breaking point.

They are now said to be reassessing longstanding procedures that stem from a law requiring the city to shelter undomiciled people, the mayor's chief counsel said Thursday.

Brenda McGuire made the comments after touring the city's first Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center, which opened to help immigrants navigate the legal and education systems.

"We are reassessing the city's practices with respect to the right to shelter," she said. "It is important, because we don't exist in a vacuum, to reconsider the practices that the city developed that flow from the right to shelter."

McGuire declined to elaborate what, specifically, might need to change, but the city's prior practices involving mainly people experiencing homelessness "never contemplated the busing of thousands of people into New York," Mayor Eric Adams said earlier this week.

"There's no ambiguity there, so it's an important distinction," McGuire said. "We are not reassessing the right to shelter. We are reassessing (the) practices around the right to shelter."

Homeless advocates, though, aren't so sure, and they warned the mayor not to end any practice that would force people onto the streets.

"Challenging the right to shelter is dangerous," the Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center wrote on Twitter. "Without this right, tens of thousands of people will be on the street."

The city is now operating 23 shelters - up from 15, as the city reported to Eyewitness News last week.

ALSO READ | Tracing the steps of asylum seekers as they settle in New York City

Eyewitness News investigative reporter Kristin Thorne went to the Port Authority bus terminal recently to watch how newly-arrived asylum seekers were processed in New York City.


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